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Old 23-04-2009, 04:43   #166
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I went ahead and ordered a Bullet 2HP to play with last night. Hopefully it is in stock and I can get it by this weekend. I have a 48V injector left over from a fried 3220. Tested it with 12V and it puts out +12V on pin 5 and ground on 8 so it should work.

Read that thread and it looks like the problem was using a cable with a strain relief prevented the seal from working. I always make up my own cables so that should not be a problem. Wrapping both the RF and Ethernet ends with an amalgamating tape would be good insurance too.

Proper cabling is critical. The 3220 that died was wired with standard CAT5. The jacket wore through as it entered the mast and water wicked up into the connector. When water bridges between the power pin and a logic pin something bad is sure to happen. I have been using gel filled direct burial cable ever since that failure.

A router with built in POE would make a really neat installation but I doubt one exist. The router manufacturers build for the cable/DSL mass market and our requirements are miniscule in comparison.
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Old 23-04-2009, 05:28   #167
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BTW, there is a simple way to make any router supply POE to the Bullet but it requires a bit more risk than the casual user would want to take.

There are two ways to implement Power over Ethernet to a device. The "proper" way is to overlay the supply voltage on the signal wires and then strip it off as it enteres the device. The simple way is to use the extra wires. The Bullet uses the simple method. It expects 12-24VDC positive on pin 4 or 5 and ground on pins 7 or 8.

Most routers use a 12VDC wall wart. You could open up the router and run a wire from the positive supply connection to pin 5 on the "modem" jack then another from the ground side of the power connector to pin 8 of the modem jack.
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Old 23-04-2009, 06:45   #168
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BTW, there is a simple way to make any router supply POE to the Bullet but it requires a bit more risk than the casual user would want to take.

There are two ways to implement Power over Ethernet to a device. The "proper" way is to overlay the supply voltage on the signal wires and then strip it off as it enteres the device. The simple way is to use the extra wires. The Bullet uses the simple method. It expects 12-24VDC positive on pin 4 or 5 and ground on pins 7 or 8. Better to use both pairs especially if you want to run to the masthead.

Most routers use a 12VDC wall wart. You could open up the router and run a wire from the positive supply connection to pin 5 on the "modem" jack then another from the ground side of the power connector to pin 8 of the modem jack.
Why not use a simple commercially made passive POE injector between the router and bridge. These are available for US $5-$10 and they put positive on both 4 & 5 and negative on 7 & 8 .

Get a 12 volt wireless router and plug it directly into ships 12 vdc power. I haven't met an office grade router that uses a 12 volt wall wart that won't run happily off of ships power. I've got customers using Linksys, D-link, Rosewill, & Engenius to name a few brands and have not heard of any failures.
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Old 23-04-2009, 07:15   #169
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Seems that when they say POE, they don't mean 802.3af (which is 48 V). Check out:

Ubiquiti Networks Forum :: View topic - Oops-Bullett and 802.3af

Also from the spec sheet, it can only take up to 24V, so forget the idea of using a router with 802.3af outside port.

Looks like I'll just go for a standard linksys router and stick it in the saloon. Only question is how to get the ethernet into the saloon without drilling ugly holes through the deck.....

Which manufacturer makes the best marine grade antenna's in your view. I'm not to penny conscious at the moment, so want to go for a pretty good build quality.

Cheers.

Ben.
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Old 23-04-2009, 07:34   #170
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True, but Ben was looking for a router that would power the bridge so I gave him a solution. I try to mount the injector behind the breaker panel to keep everything neat so it is really not an issue.

I agree that you can use almost any router you feel comfortable with.

I haven't been just over joyed by construction of any of the "marine" wifi antennas I have worked with. A couple of the more expensive (like $125+) antennas are just covered with what looks like a piece of standard schedule 40 ABS pipe with a pipe cap on one end and a cheap rail mount on the other. Also most come with a few feet of LMR200 coax terminated in an RP-SMA connector. That is fine hooked to an EUB 362 or an Alpha but when the bridge uses an N connector you have to resort to adapters or a special cable. Maybe it is just psychological but I feel more comfortable with a nice sturdy N connector than those dinky little SMA connectors.

I am going to try an 8db Rubuicon from Netgate. It is just a standard outdoor antenna but it appears to be sturdily made and right now I really don't see the advantage of tacking the word "marine" to the description.
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Old 23-04-2009, 07:35   #171
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i bought a hawkings omni15dbi and it seems to work no better then the rubber ducky ant the cane with the alpha unit, providing they are at the same elavation Why is that ?
Do you mean from a transmit / speed perspective? Do you detect more access points with the omni antenna as compared to the rubber ducky?

I too have the Alpha 500mw unit. I see far more APs when using the Engenius 8db outdoor antenna than the stock rubber ducky at the same height / location on the boat. Throughput / speed is about the same with both since that is more a function of the shared wifi topology. Said another way, if 50 people are using the same access point all 50 will see slower response.

To boil this down in KISS terms (for me at least), I see more available wifi access points and get better range with the Alpha and my 8db gain external antenna. I don't need to analyze radiation patterns, coaxial loss or any of the other stuff the zealots have identified in this thread. For less than $100 I got better performance - and that meets my objective.

Others who want to tweak and improve things to the maximum extent possible can spend more and wade through all of the issues. In fact, I hope they do so that I can associate with their masthead APs in the next anchorage.

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Old 24-04-2009, 20:59   #172
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Do you mean from a transmit / speed perspective? Do you detect more access points with the omni antenna as compared to the rubber ducky?

I too have the Alpha 500mw unit. I see far more APs when using the Engenius 8db outdoor antenna than the stock rubber ducky at the same height / location on the boat. Throughput / speed is about the same with both since that is more a function of the shared wifi topology. Said another way, if 50 people are using the same access point all 50 will see slower response.

To boil this down in KISS terms (for me at least), I see more available wifi access points and get better range with the Alpha and my 8db gain external antenna. I don't need to analyze radiation patterns, coaxial loss or any of the other stuff the zealots have identified in this thread. For less than $100 I got better performance - and that meets my objective.

Others who want to tweak and improve things to the maximum extent possible can spend more and wade through all of the issues. In fact, I hope they do so that I can associate with their masthead APs in the next anchorage.

Mark
I see the same ap's with the 15dbi ant then the rubber duck. To be fair I have only tried it in the marina. In two weeks I will be under way .I will see it there is any advantage.
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Old 26-04-2009, 08:30   #173
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Mark
I see the same ap's with the 15dbi ant then the rubber duck. To be fair I have only tried it in the marina. In two weeks I will be under way .I will see it there is any advantage.
The problem with speed has three main causes:
  1. The number of people accessing the same access point - as pointed out earlier, the more PC's sharing the same fixed bandwidth that a particular AP is using, the less there is available per PC
  2. The actual Internet connection that the AP has available. 50 PCs sharing a single 1 megabit down / 256 kilobit up Internet connection will just be unusable.
  3. Finally - and you see this if you have a high-gain antenna and can see many access points around the harbor - most everyone leaves their AP in it's default mode - and of the 11 available channels for IEEE 802.11b/g, the default is channel #6. Right now here in Marathon, Florida, of the 16 APs my wireless bridge can see, 15 are set on channel 6. So that means 15 units are contending for the same bandwidth, dropping the available 11Mb/s (for /b) or 54Mb/s (for /g) even further...
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Old 26-04-2009, 10:42   #174
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I ordered in an Alpha that actually came with a free extra antenna that simply screws on where the 5dbi antenna goes. This one is billed as 9dbi and makes a marked improvement in performance. I realize that without a lab this information is anecdotal but I have been experimenting sort of grass roots with this gear for years. At $31 the price was right to give it a try. We will use the devices mostly for shore side excursions.

George
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Old 26-04-2009, 10:51   #175
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We use an Alfa with the 9dBi rubber duck antenna connected to a 15' usb cable. We set the unit under the dodger. It has worked well through out the Abacos this winter. We have both a Mac and PC and it works with both.

Barry

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I ordered in an Alpha that actually came with a free extra antenna that simply screws on where the 5dbi antenna goes. This one is billed as 9dbi and makes a marked improvement in performance. I realize that without a lab this information is anecdotal but I have been experimenting sort of grass roots with this gear for years. At $31 the price was right to give it a try. We will use the devices mostly for shore side excursions.

George
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Old 28-04-2009, 15:11   #176
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Just received the Bullet 2HP and first impressions are good. Ordered from Netgear along with their 8dbi omni antenna. It is small and very light weight but appears sturdy enough if well mounted. The antenna mounted directly to the Bullet but I think I will make up a short length of LMR400 to take any torque load off of the Bullet's plastic case. The antenna connection appears water tight but I have my doubts about the little grommet that seals the Ethernet end. I will definitely add a few wraps of amalgamating tape to the bottom half.

For a $30 antenna the Rubicon is pretty well made if a bit shorter than other 8dbi marine antennas I have used. Fittings appear to be chromed brass. The mounting hardware however is electroplated mild steel which will have a service life of 3 months at best. I think I will fabricate something out of Starboard. Hooked it up to a low power (20mw) access point and scanned it with my field strength meter. A crude measure but the pattern seems to be very close to the 8dbi spec when compared to the 2.5dbi antennas that came with the AP. Vertical 3db down beam width is about 40 degrees which gives plenty of room for rocking.

Other than a 4 sentence comment on the box no instructions come with the Bullet but the documentation on the Ubiquiti site is very good. Setup was exceptionally easy compared to the EOC-3220s I have been dealing with. It can serve simultaneously as both a bridge to the shore side A/P and as a router to manage the boat network so I think a simple Access point might be all that is needed to serve the local network. I will try that tomorrow. Sensitivity looks excellent. It saw basic home wifi routers up to 3 blocks away through the pine trees and blanketed by my two high power A/Ps on the same channel. It even found a low power WRE54G expander in the basement of a house 3 doors away.

Endurance is the one thing I am worried about. It is very small and extremely light weight. I am not sure hwo well it will survive at the masthead. Heading to the BVI in a few weeks for a 10 day charter. Have a bosun's chair and a crew with more guts than brains so we will give it a workout. After that it goes on a Privilege 435 heading out this Fall on a round the world rally. We will know for sure by this time next year.
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Old 28-04-2009, 15:51   #177
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Man! I really want to try the Bullet even more now. Unfortunately my slot-load dvd drive went Tango Uniform on my laptop and I had to purchase an external drive. I'll have to sell some jewelry before I can justify any more IT money going out. Keep us posted on your field testing.

George
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Old 04-05-2009, 04:41   #178
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Hey Gashmore.

What are your thoughts of putting some ultra thick heat shrink around the bullet to make it a little more robust and shock resistant?

Cheers.

Ben.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:10   #179
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I just got of the phone to the local distributor to arrange a "trial" priced kit under the umbrella of my companies partnership program with Ubiquiti. I'll let you know how I go with the Bullet 2HP.

Interesting note is that the 5HP will be out in June. Whilst more complex, it would be nice to have a 2.4 solution as well as a 5.4 solution. I'll try to get one internally and let you know how good it is.

Cheers.

Ben.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:16   #180
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I don't believe that would help much. The case is strong enough as long as the antenna connection doesn't get over stressed. While screwing the antenna directly into the Bullet makes a very compact and convenient package, on a sailboat anything sticking up is eventually going to have something foul it. A few inches of low loss coax will give the setup a way to bend without cracking around the RF connector.

Water intrusion has me more concerned. The RF connector has a special rubber washer in it but Ubiquiti recommends taping it. I have some heavy heat shrink left from my house battery installation so I may use it to cover the connectors and coax. I have no faith in the bottom Ethernet connector though. I am definitely going to wrap it well in Tommy Tape.
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